RAC wants re­gional road ini­tia­tive

Narrogin Observer - - Observer News - Tayler Neale

RAC is call­ing on the State Gov­ern­ment to honour its elec­tion prom­ise of in­vest­ing in road safety in the Great South­ern when it hands down its Bud­get to­day.

With 31 deaths on Great South­ern roads in 2016, RAC is hope­ful the Bud­get will fund the cre­ation of a re­gional en­force­ment unit within WA Po­lice and in­crease the scale of breath and drug tests in the re­gion.

RAC gen­eral man­ager cor­po­rate af­fairs Will Golsby out­lined the trou­bling sta­tis­tics on WA’s re­gional road toll.

“Our State has a se­ri­ous road safety prob­lem and the sit­u­a­tion is worse for those liv­ing in the re­gions,” he said “Last year, 195 peo­ple died on WA roads — 120 in re­gional WA and 31 in the Great South­ern. That made 2016 the Great South­ern’s worst road toll in at least seven years, tripling its road toll from 10 in 2010 to 31 in 2016.”

Mr Golsby said im­prov­ing re­gional road safety was im­per­a­tive.

“RAC wel­comed WA La­bor’s elec­tion com­mit­ments to cre­ate a re­gional en­force­ment unit and in­tro­duce more drug and al­co­hol test­ing,” he said.

“RAC looks for­ward to see­ing how th­ese com­mit­ments will be funded in the State Bud­get. Fund­ing for safer roads, cars and road users in the State Bud­get is crit­i­cal if we are to ad­dress the es­ca­lat­ing eco­nomic and so­cial costs brought about by road trauma.

“In­creas­ing the per­ceived risk of de­tec­tion can af­fect be­hav­iour change — en­force­ment must be an ab­so­lute pri­or­ity for the State Gov­ern­ment in an ef­fort to re­duce road trauma.”

Mr Golsby also high­lighted the need for more drug test­ing in WA.

“West­ern Aus­tralia drug tests far fewer driv­ers than other States,” he said.

“New South Wales con­ducts 97,000 tests per year, equiv­a­lent to ap­prox­i­mately one test per 78 per­sons.

“Vic­to­ria con­ducts 100,000, equiv­a­lent to one test per 59 per­sons. South Aus­tralia con­ducts 40,000, mak­ing their ra­tio one test per 40 per­sons.

“West­ern Aus­tralia con­ducts 24,986, mak­ing our ra­tio one test per 104 per­sons.”

Our State has a se­ri­ous road safety prob­lem and the sit­u­a­tion is worse for those liv­ing in the re­gions. Will Golsby

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